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Auto theft suspect nabbed

POSTED October 17, 2009 1:44 a.m.
A Modesto man was arrested in Delhi for stealing a car and being under the influence of a controlled substance, the Merced County Sheriff’s Department reported.
The incident started just prior to noon Oct. 10 when a Merced County Sheriff’s deputy was dispatched to a mini storage unit on Flower Avenue in Delhi for a report of a suspicious person.
When the deputy arrived he found a van parked along Flower and a man, later identified as Chris Hamilton, 34, walking through an orchard towards the van.
When the deputy made contact with him, Hamilton said he ran out of gas and went to a house on the other side of the orchard to ask for gas money. He said he borrowed the van from his girlfriend and left after an argument. While the deputy spoke to him, Hamilton was showed signs of being under the influence of a central nervous stimulant, said sheriff spokesman Deputy Tom MacKenzie. After conducting a series of tests, the deputy placed Hamilton under arrest for being under the influence of a controlled substance.
While this was going on the deputy asked Stanislaus County Sheriff’s deputies to make contact with the registered owner to see if they knew where their vehicle was. Dispatch advised that Stanislaus County Sheriff’s deputies were taking a stolen vehicle report of that van at that moment. Hamilton was also charged with stealing a vehicle. It is unknown if Hamilton’s girlfriend was the registered owner at time of release.

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